As two losers wind their way across Texas, robbing and killing with no long-term plans, they hook up with a young woman named Della. Eddie falls for her and decides to clean up his act, much to the disgust of Bob, who preferred the trigger-happy life with his buddy before the intrusion of Della
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Start with a cliché: Texas is big. Big enough for someone to start running and keep running, big enough to harbor dreams, big enough to crush them. Then transmute the cliché into narrative gold, spun from violence, bittersweet humor, beauty, and terror. The alchemist is Christopher Cook, whose first novel is a noir powerhouse: uncompromising and authentic, with darkly funny characters and prose that veers magically between grandeur and grit. Think James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard, but think William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy too.
The bleak joyride of Robbers follows Eddie and Ray Bob, drifters bound together against a common enemy they're powerless to define (boredom, conventionality, poverty?), on a killing spree across the Lone Star state. A chance shooting in a convenience store sets the two runnin' buddies on a road noteworthy for its anonymity as well as its violence:
The twin tunnels of light the Caddy bored forward into darkness never faltered but seemed to gain no ground different from any other. The FM still didn't work, and they changed from one AM station to another as they ran out from beneath the reach of each into broken waves of static. That's how they knew they were moving. Otherwise they might not have known in that broad charcoal sweep beneath wheeling constellations.One shooting leads inexorably to another, and another... though nothing else is sure in this breathtaking novel, which counters anticipation with surprise at every turn. The novel's brutality is matter-of-fact, but never casual. When Della, a single mother with an unusually pressing problem, joins Eddie and Ray Bob on the run, the picture gets complicated for all concerned. And the drift becomes a pursuit rich with near-mythic overtones, as Texas Ranger Rule Hooks tracks the trio from the Gulf Coast to the pine forests of East Texas. Hooks is a pragmatic loner with an uncanny ability to sense the movements of his prey: "He stood still. He was having a feeling. He had them now and then and sometimes he listened and sometimes he didn't. It all depended. Just now he didn't know. Wasn't sure."
It may be bad luck to speak of the expectations for Cook's next novel, but when one's debut is as astonishing as this, high expectations are inevitable, as is the impatience with which readers, bowled over by Robbers' speed and skill, will await the next serendipitous event. --Kelly FlynnAbout the Author:
Christopher Cook is the author of many short stories and two award-winning fiction books, "Robbers" and "Screen Door Jesus & Other Stories", also available in Kindle editions. A native of the U.S., since 1994 he has lived in France, the Czech Republic, and Mexico. His books are available in numerous foreign editions, and his stories have been included in many anthologies, including Houghton Mifflin's "The Best American Mystery Stories 2003". His memoir essay "Full Moon Over Bohemia," set in the Czech Republic, was selected for "The Best Travel Writing" anthology in 2006. "Screen Door Jesus" has been made into a feature movie, and "Robbers" is under option in the U.S. to become a TV series. Most recently, the author has been writing screenplays and is working on another novel.
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Book Description No Exit Press, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Shipped from the UK within 2 business days of order being placed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000010415
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